Moscow Kremlin in Winter

Moscow Kremlin in Winter

Outside the Russian Kremlin in Moscow.

It is a sunny day in late winter. There is no longer snow on the ground but it is still very cold and spring feels a long way off.

The lack of foliage on the trees allows us to see through to the golden onions of the Russian Kremlin Churches – the Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals (left) and Archangel’s Cathedral (centre).

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower – said to mark the exact centre of Moscow – is the tall golden dome on the right.

In Russia, the word Kremlin implies a medieval, inner-city fortress. In earlier times it would have probably meant a fortified town, or town surrounded by a wall.

There are therefore a number of kremlins in Russia; although when we talk about The Kremlin, we usually mean where the workings of power take place in the Russian capital, Moscow.

As well as being the official working residence of the Russian President, the Moscow Kremlin also houses Russia’s main museum.

The outer red brick wall of the Moscow Kremlin was built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries; replacing the earlier fire hazard, made of wood.

The tower on the left is The Secret (Tainitskaya) Tower and to the left of that is The Grand Kremlin Palace.

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Santa Caterina, Lago Maggiore

49 Santa Caterina, Lago Maggiore by Michel (Travel Pics)

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso clings to a rock face along Lago Maggiore, Italy, with the Swiss Alps in the background.

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Tower in Lake Reschen

45 Tower in Lake Reschen on 365 Project

Lake Reschen is the largest lake above 1,000 metres in the Alps.

Located south of the Reschen Pass, in South Tyrol, Italy the area is popular with cyclists.

A large car-park near the lake is handy for drivers seeking a quick photo opportunity.

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Hill 60 Cratered Landscape

41 Hill 60 Cratered Landscape on 365 Project

Located on Zwarteleenstraat in Zillebeke, south-east of Ypres, the cratered landscaping of Hill 60 bears the scars of a silent witness to an underground war of mines and counter-mines.

Marked on the map as 60 metres above sea level, the hill was made of the soil from the Ypres to Comines railway cutting.

The Germans captured Hill 60 during the First Battle of Ypres.

The first British ‘deep’ mine exploded on 17th February 1915 but they would have to wait until April 17th before another explosion allowed them to briefly take over the hill.

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Saint Mihiel American Cemetery by Michel (Travel Pics)

On the Western Front, during World War One, much of the war was spent in trenches; long, narrow ditches dug into the earth where soldiers lived together day and night.

Held by infantry, the trenches defined the front lines and death was never far away.

This reconstructed section of original German trench system, including four bunkers and two mine shafts, is located about 2km north of Wijtschate.

Access to the Bayernwald German Trenches is by prior booking from the Heuvelland Tourist Office in Kemmel.

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Armenian Prayer Beads

An old man in prayerful contemplation at Etchmiadzin Cathedral, in Armenia.

Although not seen in this image, Armenian beads have a ‘Khatchkar’ Cross.

Fort de Douaumont, Verdun

Fort de Douaumont - Verdun

The Battle of Verdun was the longest single battle of World War One.

Fort de Douaumont was the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 large defensive forts protecting the city of Verdun but still couldn’t be adequately defended against the German guns.

The Germans captured Fort Douaumont on 25th February, 1916 without a contest.

The Colonial Infantry Troops of Morocco eventually recaptured the fort on 24th October, 1916.

There are some pleasant walks around the old concrete bunkers and tourists can visit inside the fort.